7 tips to minimise exam stress

Rahul, a class XII student, is under pressure. His neighbour, Ankit, scored 91 per cent in the Class XII exams a year ago and Rahul's parents expect him to perform a lot better.
He isn't the only one in such a situation. With less than a month left for most examinations, many students find themselves weighed down by expectations. Comparisons, parental expectations and peer pressure are major concerns for students attempting their board exams. These concerns bog students down, leading to severe examination stress.
The term 'exam stress' can be broadly defined as a feeling of anxiety over one's performance in the exams, the results and reaction of parents and friends; all weigh upon students to create exam stress.
The final exams for Class XII and Class X start on February 21 and March 7 respectively. For those of you who are appearing for these exams, here are tips that can help minimise the stress.
iRevision tips
Develop a timetable to monitor your progress. Make sure you allocate adequate time for fun and relaxation as well.
While revising a subject, practise writing. This would be an actual simulation of the examination itself. Plan your revision and complete it in time. This will give you a sense of achievement and build your confidence.
While revising, vary subjects and their difficulty so you don't get bored or disheartened. Set realistic targets of what you can achieve in the time available.
Spend as much time on recall as on reading. Practise by writing answers as you would do in the exam. This will help you remember the important points when you answer each paper.
Practise writing answers under exam conditions. Take three hour tests, without a break in between, preferably at the same time as that of the exam. This will help your body clock adjust to the examination time and conditions.
iiTime out
To prevent mental fatigue, take a short break as soon as you notice your mind is losing concentration. Stick to activities that do not break your study continuum during these breaks. Avoid television and loud music. You will then be able to come back to your revision refreshed.
It is important to relax. Your mind and body perform at their best only if you get adequate rest.

iiiMaintain a regular sleep pattern
A regular seven hours of sleep is mandatory for the body to function well. Also, sleep at a regular time; don't alter your sleeping cycle.

It is not important whether you study late or get up early, as long as you get into the habit of being most alert at the same time as that of the exam.
Try and stop working an hour before bedtime. You will find it helpful to do some muscular relaxation, which is particularly effective in relieving stress.

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